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Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam [Paperback]

Bernard Edelman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £10.99
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Book Description

17 July 2002
More than 25 years after the official end of the Vietnam War, "Dear America" allows us to witness the war firsthand through the eyes of the men and women who served in Vietnam. In this collection of over 200 letters, they share their first impressions of the rigours of life in the bush, their longing for home and family, their emotions over the conduct of the war, and their ache at the loss of a friend in battle. Revealing the complex emotions and daily realities of fighting in the war, these accounts offer a personal portrait of the many faces of Vietnam veterans.

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Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam + Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (17 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393323048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393323047
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 14.3 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


No full understanding of the most disastrous foreign war in American history can be complete without reading these letters from the GIs to their loved ones back home. --Peter Arnett, Pulitzer Prize-winning Vietnam correspondent"

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
We came 10,000 miles, almost 3 million of us, to fight America's longest war. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear America 14 Jun 2003
I first came across this book watching a film of the same title and was compelled to read it. A collection of letters, written home by G.I.s during the Vietnam conflict, this book describes the horrors of war first hand, but also show the men fighting it as individuals and who they really are. This book is a must read for anyone who has ever seen any Hollywood portrayal of this conflict, no glamour, no glitz, just the hard truth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 28 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A factual but so personal insight into the thoughts and feelings of young men and women fighting in a war not always understood by many. All the more poignant when you know the reception they received on returning home.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful 3 Dec 2001
By Dizziey - Published on
This book consists of letters written by American soldiers during the Vietnam War. It's extremely heart-breaking to read these letters as they gives "voices" instead of a mere figure. A lot of times, the figure of how many were killed, wounded, missing, etc but it does not portray any "emotions" the soldiers felt. At the end of each letter, the editor includes a few sentences on what happened to the author. It's extremely sad to read how many of those killed were just 19 year-olds, 20 year-olds, and these soldiers were just kids! It makes you think how wasteful, stupid, unnecessary wars are, and the sacrifices that has to be made.
The last chapter of this book speaks a lot. It is chronologically listed and you can see the evolving sentiments of the soldiers. At the beginning of the war, the soldiers were proud to fight against the Communists, how they think the war will be over soon. Towards the end of that chapter, most soldiers were scared, depressed and just wanted to get out of the war... alive! This shows why many Vietnam War veterans suffered from postwar depression as the horror of the war, how their friends, buddies were killed or wounded in front of their own eyes and how many could not possibly forget these horrifying images.
I highly recommend this book as this book speaks a lot. To me, the important message that it is trying to convey is the unnecessary sacrifices that these soldiers have to make, to fight a war that is not theirs, and the horror and bloodiness of the war is vividly described by these soldiers.
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully emotional 18 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on
I still remember the day I walked into my college's library back in the late 1980s and saw this publication sitting on the table of new releases. I picked it up and headed for a couch. About six hours, many tears, mixed emotions, and several missed classes later I emerged from that couch and put the completed book back on the table. In those six hours my view about the Vietnam experience and those who fought it changed. The words of those soldiers in their letters are powerful evidence of the collision between innocence and experience that takes place when young men are thrust into battle.
This book should be required reading for all students of that war and required reading for every President who ever contemplates sending soldiers into battle.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ FOR ALL AGES 11 Sep 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Of all the books I have read none have touched me this much. It is powerful because it is real. These are real stories, real feelings, real lives. This book will keep you up all night just thinking.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart gripping, personal and emotional letters home from war 30 Nov 1997
By A Customer - Published on
This book is one of the hardest books I have ever had to read. To know some of these men would never return home and to read emotional letters home to their girlfriends, parents and friends, made reading very hard with tears in my eyes. As a VietNam veteren I could relate to some of those feelings expressed in the letters.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First hand account of the Vietnam War 26 Oct 2005
By H. A. M. Geerts - Published on
After the amazing documentary about Vietnam that solely exists of actor voice overs of funny, goofy, anxious and heartbreaking letters home from soldiers at the battlefront in Vietnam, accompanied by graphic footage of the war itself, this book came out. It contains the letters read out in the movie, and additionally has some more background information about the soldiers who wrote the letters.

Even without the trained actor voices reading the letters out loud to you, and without the grim and realistic war images, this book is a pageburner. Heart-wrenching accounts of the legacy of war written by the soldiers that fought it, as well as by the people they left behind.
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